That Tory Leprechaun Leitch.

You would swear that woman was a graduate of Trump University rather than a medical specialist. We are talking about Kellie Leitch M.P. here. She is the Conservative member for the next door electoral district of Simcoe-Grey. It is a rural riding of farms and small towns, including Utopia. (We bet you did not know that Utopia is a village in Essa Township.)

But Kellie has not always been a small-town person. She studied business at Dalhousie University in Halifax, medicine at the University of Toronto and at Queen’s University in Kingston, and taught for a while at the Shulich School of Medicine and Dentistry at the University of Western Ontario. With this background, you would expect her to be more sophisticated than she acts.

But this is the person who, along with the former MP Chris Alexander, announced the Conservative’s embarrassing “tip line” where we could report on the “barbaric cultural practices” of our neighbours. It might have contributed to Alexander losing his seat in last year’s election but Leitch only suffered a drop of less than two per cent of her vote.

Emboldened by her strong support from Simcoe-Grey, Leitch has thrown her hat into the contest to replace Stephen Harper as leader of the Conservative Party of Canada. Like in the situation with Donald Trump, you might wonder what qualifies Kellie Leitch for this job even after five years in Ottawa.

So far, Leitch seems to be the candidate making waves. The only other excitement recently was Parry Sound-Muskoka MP Tony Clement quitting the race. It was the first time that some people knew there was a contest in the offing.

But Leitch must have listened well to her hero Donald Trump. Her problem is that she seems reluctant to take on her own Conservative Party shibboleths so she has to dig at issues that skate around the standard Tory line. Her “Canadian values” patter panders to the racist side of the party while her newer demands to dump the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation are in tune with the economic Conservatives’ demands to use tax money only for “economically necessary” expenses. You can see where she is headed with this approach and it would be a shame to say where as it would just provide her with the route.

You can hardly compare the Leitch leadership campaign to Trump’s run for the Republican presidency. He warmed up by viciously attacking the weaknesses of his Republican opponents. By the time of the Cleveland party convention he had the Republican Party in total disarray. Leitch can hardly match that trick.


Copyright 2016 © Peter Lowry

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